Islington Council can today announce it will hold a two-week festival to inspire local people to play their part in creating a cleaner, greener, healthier borough.
The festival, titled “Islington Together: Let’s talk about a greener future”, will be a programme of free events and activities designed to help the council work together with local people to tackle the climate emergency.
It’s clear that climate change is a pressing issue that needs urgent attention – with recent research indicating that Islington is one of the six London boroughs most at risk from climate change.
Addressing climate change will help create a more sustainable future, where all can live independent and healthy lives, free from the effects of toxic air pollution. The council itself directly contributes to just 4% of Islington’s carbon emissions – so tackling the climate emergency requires support from residents, businesses and partners.
The festival will begin on Monday, 18 October with a launch event featuring keynote speakers Polly Billington, CEO of UK100 – a network of elected leaders committed to cleaner, more powerful communities – and David Harrison, Chair of the environmental charity Islington Living Streets and Co-Founder of Footways London.
The launch event will also provide attendees with the opportunity to hear from Cllr Kaya Comer-Schwartz, Leader of Islington Council, and Cllr Rowena Champion, Executive Member for Environment and Transport, and to discuss how we can create a more sustainable future for Islington together.
The festival features a special “Let’s talk about homes and the environment” day on Thursday, 27 October dedicated to the important issue of reducing emissions at home. This will include an event highlighting the council’s efforts to retrofit council homes with more environmentally-friendly energy sources, and an event for housing associations.
Cllr Rowena Champion, Islington Council’s Executive Member for Environment and Transport, said: “The climate emergency is a very real, very pressing issue, and it’s clear that we must all take urgent action to protect our planet before it’s too late.
“The council has been working tirelessly to help tackle the climate emergency, but it’s clear that we can’t achieve this alone – local people, businesses and partners all have a vital role to play.
“The Islington Together festival will provide an opportunity to come together to discuss how we can create a brighter, greener future for the borough.
“We’re running a series of exciting, engaging events and activities to make sure everyone has their chance to play a part in Islington’s journey towards net zero carbon status. We are really looking forward to working with local people and businesses, to understand how we can work together to tackle the climate emergency.”
Held in the lead-up to COP26, the festival will also provide an opportunity for the borough to consider what it needs from others – including central Government – to achieve net zero carbon status, including funding, powers and legislation.
Local people, businesses and partners will be able to attend a number of engaging events run by the council and community, including:
A guided walk to understand the benefits of Islington’s people-friendly streets neighbourhoods
An online tour of the world-first Bunhill 2 Energy Centre, which uses waste heat from the London Underground to power hundreds of homes.
Community-run food growing events
A networking event, run by the Islington Sustainable Energy Partnership, for businesses to discuss their involvement in local sustainability projects.
Guided tree walks
A bike repair workshop
Islington Together will help build on the positive work that the council is already doing to tackle climate change, such as creating people-friendly streets, bringing greener energy to homes, and electrifying its fleet.
The festival will run from Monday, 18 October to Friday, 29 October. A full programme and information on signing up to attend events and activities can be found here.